Unesco World Heritage List suggestions

Unesco's World Heritage list is a collection of places of special interest across the world. Hungary has seven locations listed in the cultural category and one in the natural category and another eleven locations on the tentative list. Hungary is blessed with so many very special places, it's easy to think of even more! Here we look at some other sights that we believe should also be praised for their unique properties.

The Hungarian locations listed on Unesco's list already are Budapest itself, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue (1987), the ancient Village of Hollókő and its Surroundings (1987), the caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (the only entry in the natural category, in 1995), the Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its Natural Environment (1996), Hortobágy National Park - the Puszta (1999), the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (Sopianae) (2000),Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape (2001) and the Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape (2002.) The 11 on the tentative list are mostly cultural places of cultural interest,  like the Mediaeval Royal Seat and Parkland at Visegrád (2000) and the independent pre-modern architecture of Ödön Lechner (2008), though there are are several natural locations suggested too, notably: Fossils found in Ipolytartnóc (2000) and more caves - this time the Buda Thermal Karst System (1993).

Here are some of our own new suggestions:

Hévíz Thermal Lake
Our famous lake in Western Hungary is 4.4 hectares in surface area, making it the largest active thermal lake in the world.  Apparently Lake Tarawera in New Zealand is similar, but it is quite a hike to reach it, and the water is apparently often either freezing cold or boiling hot, so not nearly as convenient as our rather well-developed lake. Lake Hévíz has a distinctive bathing house built in the middle of it with steps down into the water. The water depth varies from 1.5m to 2m in the shallow areas, but plunges to 38m by the source, so bathers float around in rubber rings or hold onto numerous handrails. The water is in constantly flowing and the lake is completely refeplenished every 72 hours! Scuba divers have discovered caves that continue under the can edge of the lake to one side, that have beautiful chambers, but these are only for experienced explorer at the present time. The lake bottom is lined with soft mud, which has a high Radon content and is certified as healing mud, for use in skin treatments and with locomotive illnesses in the form of warm mud-packs.) The water temperature varies from 23-26 degrees celsius in the winter to 33-35 degrees in the summer, but even in the depths of winter it is never cooler than 23 degrees, making it ideal for outdoor bathing all year round!

Castle of Eger
This 13th century castle on a hill in the town of Eger in northern Hungary is famous as the site of a lengthy siege in 1552, where 2300 soldiers, peasant and women resisted 5 of attacks over 39 days by a far larger force of Ottoman Turks with far more men and better artillery. The townspeople fortified themselves with strong red wine that was believed to have bull's blood in it, and the wine bearing that name is still a popular product today. The successful resistance became a symbol of Hungarian patriotism. The site includes ruins of 13th Century cathedral and a 15th Century Episcopal palace.

Körös-Maros National Park
This flatland area is bordered by the Körös, Maros and Tisza rivers to the north, south and east respectively, and is a paradise for dozens of species of birds like the Black Stork, Corn Crake, Saker Falcon and other wildlife, like the European Otter, Steppe Butterfly and the exotically-named Giant Mole Rat.  Dévaványa features Europe's only reserve for the rare Great Bustard, the world's heaviest flying bird. This would be only the second in the natural category (the Karst cave system of Aggtelek is already listed.)

There are many other cultural items that the Hungarians hold dear, so-called Hungaricums like Paprika, Pálinka, porcelain from Herend  and breeds of cattle and dog that exemplify Hungary, but these are not actually locations, so they cannot be listed here.